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by Sarah J. F. Braley and Kaitlin Holden | August 01, 2011
Fast Facts

The city's convention centers were built with winter in Anchorage in mind. Heated, ice-free sidewalks connect the two Anchorage convention facilities, and a sky bridge connects the Egan Center to the performing arts center on the other side of Fifth Avenue.

More than 100 miles of cross-country ski trails are groomed by volunteers or maintained by the city throughout the winter. Many are lighted, allowing the adventurous to stay out after dark.

A great time to come to town is the first weekend in March, for the ceremonial start of the 1,150-mile Iditarod dog-sled race. iditarod.com; iditarodblogs.com

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Local Update
The 198-room Westmark Anchorage Hotel is undergoing a series of renovations that will include adding flat-screen TVs to every guest room as well as refresh the bathrooms. All work should be complete by early 2012. In addition, the hotel's Solstice Bar and Grill just released a new menu focusing on contemporary seafood.  The property features 4,862 square feet of meeting space.

The 547-room Hotel Captain Cook recently completed the addition of new beds and air conditioning to all guest rooms and an expansion of the registration area.

As of last month, guests of the 90-room Ramada Anchorage Downtown can enjoy a new bar and casual-dining restaurant. In addition, guest rooms have been revamped with new carpeting and more.

The 110-room Dimond Center Hotel has upgraded its in-house kitchen and renamed it the Camel Rock Pub & Grill. The property's Chesloknu meeting center is having a new sound system installed by Five Star Entertainment. The hotel offers a total of 1,900 square feet of meeting space.

The 129-room Holiday Inn Express Anchorage Airport will add flat-screen TVs to guest rooms, along with new lobby furniture and a remodeled breakfast bar, all part of a $1.3 million project beginning this fall.

Meeting Hotels
Properties in Alaska's largest city include the 600-room Hilton Anchorage Hotel, 547-room Hotel Captain Cook, 392-room Anchorage Marriott Downtown, 375-room Sher­aton Anchorage Hotel & Spa, 251-room Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel, 248-room Mil­lennium Alaskan Anchor­age and 198-room Westmark Anchorage Hotel.

Convention Centers
Dea'ina Center; exhibit space, 72,240 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 15. (907) 263-2850; anchorageconventioncenters.com/denaina-center
The Egan Center; exhibit space, 30,534 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 21. (907) 263-2800; anchorageconventioncenters.com/egan-center

Airport Transit
Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, approximately 5 miles from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, $20

Taxes
Room tax, 12%; sales tax, 0%; total tax on hotel rooms, 12%

Group Venue
Overlooking Cook Inlet, where the 38-foot tide change is well worth watching, the Snow Goose Restaurant and Sleeping Lady Brewing Co. serves up an Alaskan-American menu (yes, there's reindeer sausage and reindeer-stuffed halibut) and home-brewed ales. The first-floor dining room holds 110, while the second floor's pub accommodates 100 and the executive banquet room, 25. Both levels feature tall windows showcasing the view of the mountain ranges, tides and port. The lower floor also offers a theater with a full stage for events, and the pub has two decks' worth of outdoor seating. (907) 277-7727;  dscreationsgklopfer.intuitwebsites.com

Tucked inside downtown's 4th Avenue Market Place is the 96-seat Alaska Experience Theatre, with full digital cinema capabilities. Also in the complex -- aside from a display on the 1964 Earthquake, murals depicting the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and a Tlingit bear totem pole -- is the 2,065-square-foot Port View Banquet Room, easily seating 110 for a dinner. (907) 272-9076; alaskaexperiencetheatre.com

Contact
Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bu­reau, (907) 276-4118; anchorage.net